The Colorado Springs Marathon returns for its fourth year on Saturday, September 30, 2017. This family-friendly event is inclusive to runners of all ages and experience levels. This year the marathon has moved to a Saturday instead of a Sunday, in order to accommodate those with religious or other conflicts. Whether you’re an athlete who has done countless marathons or a casual runner giving it a try for the first time, this event welcomes participants with open arms. “The community running event features a Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K and Kids K – all beginning and ending at Acacia Park in downtown Colorado Springs,” said Steve Bingham-Hawk, Race Director for High Altitude Special Events.
The course will showcase the city of Colorado Springs by taking runners on Wood Ave., Cascade Ave., Platte Ave., through America the Beautiful Park, Monument Valley Park, around Memorial Park, by the Olympic Training Center and throughout downtown. Some excellent areas for family and friends to spectate include Memorial Park, America the Beautiful Park, Acacia Park, or Penrose St. Francis Hospital at Old North End.
On Friday, September 29, there will be an exciting expo with vendors and sponsors, where racers can register and pick up their race package. Package pick-up will not be available on the day of the race. The expo will take place at The Mining Exchange Hotel’s Grand Ballroom from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. There are still exhibitor spaces available, which present an ideal opportunity for local business to have face time with more than 1,000 athletes. Sponsors for this year’s event include Centura Health and Lexus of Colorado Springs.
“Our official charity partner this year is Team Red, White, and Blue (Team RWB); and a portion of proceeds are going directly to them,” said Bingham-Hawk. “The group believes in engaging veterans in physical activity as a way to socialize and assimilate back into everyday life after coming back from service.” Many members of Team RWB have been running with group for 10+ years, as a way to interact with fellow veterans and keep active.
On race day there will be a range of exhibitors, food trucks, a beer garden sponsored by Bristol Brewing Company, a live DJ, kid’s obstacle courses and more. The full marathon – starting at 7 a.m. – is 26.2 miles; the half marathon – starting at 7 a.m. – is 13.1 miles; and the 5K – starting at 7:05 a.m. – is 3.1 miles. The awards ceremony for the 5K will be at 8:30 a.m.; half marathon will be at 9:30 a.m.; and the full marathon will be at 10:30 a.m.
In addition to the family-friendly kid’s obstacle courses, there are a number of kid’s races. Two years old or younger have an adorable .04 mile race, ages three and four can partake in a .08 mile race, five and six have a .16 mile race, seven and eight can compete in a .31 mile race, and nine and 10 year olds head off in a .62 miles race. Young athletes can have fun among the adult runners, and develop a passion for community running early on.
All racers will receive a beautiful medal to commemorate their accomplishments. “I’m really excited for everyone to see their finisher medals,” said Bingham-Hawk. “The Julie Penrose Fountain at America the Beautiful Park is a huge staple on the course route; and the full, half and 5K marathon medals will all feature the iconic circular fountain.” Finishers will also receive a technical t-shirt that they can wear proudly for months and years after the event.
While 90 percent of participants are Colorado Springs locals, the premiere endurance marathon attracts athletes from 26 states nationwide. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts – owner of The Mining Exchange and Antler’s Hotel – is this year’s Colorado Springs Marathon hotel partner. Visitors and locals alike can spend the night in either hotel, both conveniently located in the heart of downtown Colorado Springs.
Spots for this highly-anticipated event have the potential to sell out before race day, with sales up 50 percent from this time in 2016. Register today at TheColoradoSpringsMarathon.com. If you don’t wish to run in the event, but would like to be a part of the festivities, sign up to be a volunteer. Friday’s expo is currently in need of volunteers, and Saturday’s race still has a few spaces open for the water stations. “The expo is a nice way to jump out on your lunch break, set the tone and welcome all runners,” said Bingham-Hawk. “It’s good energy to be around; and it’s right downtown so if you work downtown it’s easy to swing by.”
To register, exhibit, volunteer or learn more, visit TheColoradoSpringsMarathon.com.